Grandma Black 94th Birthday Celebration

Mary Ardra Young Black

To zoom in on Grandma Black, click on the image

Memphis News Scimitar
May 8, 1905

        On May 8, 1905, hundreds gathered to celebrate Grandma Black's 94th birthday near Ebenezer.

        At four o'clock a.m., the rain was falling plentifully at 4:30, the sky was clearing and at 5 o'clock the day was like the smile of the woman you love.

        At 8 o' clock the representative of the Memphis News Scimitar, bearer of the silver loving cup to be presented, boarded the surrey of Hugh Craig, who is connected with the grocery firm of Sam Craig, a grandson of Mrs. Black.

        There has been a recent boon in land values. Property there that ten years ago was not worth $3,000 now commands $20,000. The region traversed is known as The Ridge.  Situated in about the middle vertebra of the backbone of this ridge is the picturesque homestead of Grandmother Black.

        All along the route, vehicles of all, descriptions were encountered, old fashioned carriages, surries, buggies, runabouts, lumber wagons, ox carts, and in fact, every known species of vehicles used in rural district.

        Families were all there, down to the cooing, gurgling, squalling babies.  A favorite grandson of Mrs. Black, Sam Craig, had half a dozen children sharing a delivery wagon with a clothes basket full of lunch, drawn by a little brown horse.  Two young ladies with gay parasols whirled about the road in a runabout.  A grand old gentleman galloped along on a sturdy steed of gray.  A party of young men passed on horseback or mules.

        The house on the brow of a hill is on one of the highest points of the ridge.  It is long and low and has two long porches, one in front and one in the rear.  Before noon, there were 75 to 100 vehicles hitched along the road and in the grove.

        After noon, the Rev. J. W. Carson, pastor of Ebenezer Church at the time, led the devotional.  A poem written to her was recited, children brought flowers and crowned Grandma Black, "Queen of May."

        Dr. S. A. Gassaway, who was the family doctor, introduced former state Senator G. L. Jones of New Albany, who was orator for the occasion, and the loving cup was presented by the representative of the News Scimitar.